With the June 2019 issue of Motor Sport going on sale on Wednesday, May 1st, and subscriber copies landing early week commencing 29th April, we're giving you a sneak peek into what is coming up.
June 2019 Preview
Who are the greatest Le Mans drivers of all time?
It is a seemingly simple question that has occupied Motor Sport’s editorial team for the past couple of months, with names being shouted across the office floor at irregular intervals – then debated, discussed and weighed.
If a name was accepted by the hive mind of contributors, designers, writers, editors and photographers, it was diligently added to a master list that was guarded by our features editor Simon Arron.
By this time last month, that document ran to more than 140 names. Now cut it to 50, I said, to groans and protestations from the entire floor.
Compiling lists is not something that Motor Sport generally does. It is an exercise fraught with difficulty: one man’s hero is another man’s chancer.
How do you compare the exploits of say, Tomáš Enge – a man who has only one class win to his name but managed to pull off one of the all-time great rescues when he nursed his recently crashed Ferrari to GTS pole in 2004 – with serial class winners like Darren Turner? Even more difficult is the question of comparing drivers from different eras. Henry Birkin recorded two wins in 1929 and 1931, but was he better than Dan Gurney who won outright only once is 1967? There is no correct answer.
And yet those are the questions with which we wrestled over a long Café Rouge dinner for this month’s cover feature. The final list of the 50 greatest Le Mans drivers we have compiled inevitably won’t please everybody, but hopefully it will spark debate ahead of this year’s race on June 15-16 – and Simon will be able to stop fielding random shouts of ‘Bernard Rubin!’ at 9am.
And that’s not all: our epic Le Mans coverage this year includes an interview with Fernando Alonso about his chances in Toyota’s TS050 as well as a track test of Aston Martin’s 2007 class-winning DBR9. We hope you enjoy it.
Elsewhere in the magazine, we have lunch with a bona fide living legend in Craig Breedlove, the American land speed record breaker who shows no sign of slowing down; test drive the Daytona Coupe – one of the all-time great road racers; and talk to rally god Ari Vatanen about why he wants to start a driving school. Mark Hughes gets under the Williams F1 team’s skin and explains why it has had such a torrid start to the season and also casts his uniquely perceptive eye over the 1000th world championship race, in China.
Our regular columnists, including Doug Nye, Andrew Frankel and Jennie Gow, are also on rare form this month, with opinionated pieces on everything from the Lister Knobbly to Mick Schumacher.
I hope you enjoy the June issue and, if you feel we have missed a deserving driver from our Le Mans greatest list, please let us know. Letters should be addressed to Simon Arron….
Joe Dunn, Editor